Turnout Summary: Overall turnout in the state, so far, is at 6.21%. The Republican turnout rate is at 7.76%, while Democratic turnout is at 6.36%. NPA/Other turnout is at 4.03%. The Enthusiasm Gap still favors Republicans, at -7.93%. This is a .33% swing to the Democrats overnight.
Bottom Line: For the first time since we have published this projection, the projected Republican vote has dipped under 50%. The current projection shows that a generic Republican candidate statewide would receive 49.97%, while the generic Democratic candidate statewide would receive 46.59%, a 3.38% gap. So, overnight, Democrats had another .5% swing in their favor.
Details: Republican VBM votes, particularly in Southwest Florida, are starting to flat-line. However, the Democratic votes in South Florida are increasing, albeit slowly. If the Republican vote in Republican counties start drying up because they have already come in, Democrats can move ahead of Republicans in the projected VBM results within the next 6-8 days.
What to Watch For: There are three things to watch for over the next couple of days. First, Palm Beach County is performing nearly as well for Democrats in the projected vote as Broward County. Over the last few cycles, many can make the argument that Democrats have lost statewide because they have not been able to run up the numbers in Palm Beach County. While it is still a long shot, there is a possibility of Palm Beach County going 60%+ for Democrats on Election Day (higher than 2012, 2014 or 2016).
Second, both Seminole and St. Lucie Counties could flip to the Democratic side in the next couple of days. If that is the case, then four counties that voted for Trump (along with Sarasota and Pinellas) will have flipped from red to blue. Of course, Election Day will change that dynamic, but the trends look good so far.
Third, we have to ask ourselves “how many VBM ballots will be submitted?” In 2014, there were more VBM ballots than those cast in early voting. In 2016, that was flipped. If the 2016 trend continues, then Democrats could be in a strong position. It is too early to tell now, because we have to wait for early vote totals to start trickling in, but Democrats could take a commanding lead once early voting starts. Watch this space.